On Saturday night, jockey Joe Johnson will once again climb aboard On Fire Baby as the classy 5-year-old mare enters the starting gate for the G2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs. It will be the 16th time Johnson will ride On Fire Baby; he has ridden the daughter of Smoke Glacken in all of her career starts.
Not only does Johnson ride On Fire Baby in the afternoon, he also has ridden her every morning since she arrived in trainer Gary Hartlage's barn as a 2-year-old. The Hartlage – Johnson partnership is also an important one, as Jennie Rees explores in her latest column in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Johnson has ridden for Hartlage his entire career, which began in 1987. The 46-year-old jockey recently notched his 1,000th career victory, which appropriately came aboard a Hartlage-trained horse.
“He put me on my first one, and he put me on my 1,000th one. Pretty neat,” Johnson said in the Courier-Journal. “It's lasted a lot longer than some marriages.”
Read more in the Louisville Courier-Journal
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